Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a common cause of infection in patients receiving hemodialysis. In this study we aimed to determine the detection of HCV RNA status in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of the patients who require hemodialysis and the prevalence of occult HCV infection by real-time polimerase chain reaction (PCR) in central Anatolia. One hundred end-stage renal disease patients, over 16 years old, receiving hemodialysis treatment were enrolled in this study. Participants’ demographic data were all evaluated in this cross sectional study. Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), hepatitis markers, plasma HCV RNA and HCV RNA in PBMCs was measured. Occult hepatitis C (OHC) was described in patients with or without elevated liver function tests (LFTs) of unknown etiology and it is characterized by the presence of HCV RNA in PBMCs in the absence of detectable viral RNA in serum by conventional assays. We found that 19 out of the 100 patients testing positive for at least one of these tests; anti-HCV, plasma HCV RNA and PBMCs RNA. Three (%3.6) out of 84 patients in both anti-HCV and plasma HCV RNA negative group, HCV RNA in PBMCs was positive. These patients were evaluated as OHC. Detection of HCV RNA status in PBMCs of the patients, is a noninvasive method that will help to determine occult infection.
Hepatitis C virus, hemodialysis, occult hepatitis C infection, Peripheral blood mononuclear cells
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